New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) on Monday upbraided President Donald Trump and the Department of Justice for declaring New York City and several other Democratic-controlled metropolitan areas as “anarchist jurisdictions.” James referred to the designation as “pathetic” and “illegal,” but also dinged the president for unwittingly attempting to defund the NYPD.
In response to a controversial presidential memo issued earlier this month, the DOJ on Monday morning officially identified New York City, Portland, and Seattle as jurisdictions that had “permitted violence and destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures to counteract criminal activities.” Under the direction of Attorney General Bill Barr, the designation means that the government will review whether those cities cities should be stripped of federal funding.
In her statement, James said the designation was nothing more than an “illegal” effort by the Trump administration to distract from its pandemic response failures.
“As the nation moves towards 200,000 deaths from COVID-19 and as tens of millions remain out of work, President Trump is trying to distract the American people from his failures as a leader and is using the last few months of his presidency to sow more chaos, more hatred, and more fear,” James said. “This designation is nothing more than a pathetic attempt to scare Americans into voting for a commander-in-chief who is actually incapable of commanding our nation. President Trump failed to listen to scientists, failed to steer our economy through this pandemic, and has repeatedly failed to bring our nation together.”
James promised that the order would be challenged in court. But New York’s attorney general also openly trolled Trump, accusing him of merely pretending to care about about law enforcement funding, having laid the groundwork to defund police.
“The president should be prepared to defend this illegal order in court, which hypocritically lays the groundwork to defund New York and the very types of law enforcement President Trump pretends to care about,” James said. “We have beat the president and the illegal actions of his DOJ in court before and have no doubt we will beat them again.”
Recent statistics show that roughly 6-percent of NYPD’s budget is federally funded. That’s $349 million dollars.
Several other attorneys also had similar reactions to the administration’s action on Monday, pointing out the irony of President Trump and Attorney General Barr threatening to halt federal funding to cities where police departments are funded with federal dollars.
[Images via Drew Angerer/Getty Images, Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images]
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